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Jan 20, 2011

Have you heard of skeet shooting, or perhaps clay pigeon shooting? Well, we are beginning to do it. Having  been inspired by his grandfather in Scotland, my son Cass caught the bug. Doing it once when we went to stay with my father last summer just wasn't enough for him. When we returned to Wenatchee, he brought with him two of 'Grandad's' shooting magazines. I, at first, tried not to think about guns; I don't know much about them, and quite frankly, they scare me. However, my dad has been a hunter all of his life, and is an example of using guns responsibly, and only for hunting or clay pigeon shooting. My husband decided to try skeet shooting recently. He bought a couple of shot guns, ammunition, and a skeet thrower. So we are set. We have everything that we need. It just so happens that guns are very popular in this part of the country. Many men hunt deer, wild turkey, or even bear and cougar. A lot of them are very skilled, and even become bow hunters. There are several gun shops in town, gun sections in major stores, and all sorts of clubs to join. Having seen my father shoot birds while I was young, I feel that that would be a reasonable kind of hunting. You can eat the birds as well. Bringing down a larger animal, however, doesn't appeal to me at all. I'm certainly not an expert, nor do I intend to be. I'll leave that to the people who know what they're doing. For now, starting out skeet shooting, learning all about safety issues, the equipment, and how to aim, are enough for me. We went to a shooting range at the weekend. It is a simple place, a couple of miles from our house, up towards the mountains. You have to have a club key to unlock the gate and get in, and then you drive to either a pistol range, a rifle range, or a shotgun range. The place was empty when we went. It is still very cold outside, so I'm sure a lot of the regular shooters were staying at home. And yes, I actually had a go. It was funny though. Looking back now, I realise that I was standing in the wrong position, my head was uncomfortably leaning on the gun, and I barely knew which eye to close in order to look down the barrel. I must have looked ridiculous! However, my husband and my son gave me all the advice I needed to stand and aim properly, and that made a difference. I didn't manage to hit any skeets, but at least I feel that I'm a step closer to aiming and firing.

Grammar notes.

Related vocabulary: to catch the bug, ammunition, issue.

1. After travelling to Australia, he caught the travel bug.

2. They found some old World War II ammunition in their back yard.

3. We have to play the game fairly, so it doesn't become an issue.